The No. 11 Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team avenged last season’s overtime loss to Christopher Newport University, taking a dominant 16-3 CAC conference victory over the Capitan’s on Wednesday night at Sea Gull Stadium.
“We have been waiting 365 days for this,” junior defensive midfielder Preston Dabbs said. “We’ve been waiting a year for it so the defense had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder.”
Sophomore Nathan Blondino opened the scoring for the Salisbury offense with a goal at the 10:05 mark. Sophomore Carson Kalama gave the Sea Gulls a 3-0 when he scored two straight goals nearly 30 seconds apart with just under 8 minutes left in the first. Kalama then assisted senior Mike Kane giving the Sea Gulls a 4-0 lead heading into the 2nd. Christian Ottenritte, Thomas Cirillo, Adam Stork, Chase Berquist, and James Burton all added additional goals for the Salisbury offense.
Salisbury scored five more goals in the second quarter, while the defense held CNU scoreless through the entire first half. CNU only totaled six shots on goal in the first half, while turning the ball over 18 times.
James Burton scored for the Sea Gulls in the early minutes of the second. The next two Salisbury goals were by Blondino and Cirillo. Senior Sean Fitzgerald, who finished the night with a team leading six assists, assisted both.
“When we draw a slide and I get the ball someone is going to be open,” Fitzgerald said. “I just need to read the defense and figure out who it is. They left the crease open a lot today and we hit that then they were kind of crashing inside and we hit a skip pass for somebody on the back side.”
The Sea Gulls took a 9-0 lead into halftime, after a goal from junior Adam Stork and a second goal from Burton in the final minutes of the quarter.
Salisbury out shot CNU 25-6 in the first half, won the turnover battle 9-18, and picked up more ground balls 19-12.
Fitzgearld found Kane to begin the third quarter to make the score 10-0. After CNU scored their first goal of the night, Burton was able to add his third goal of the night on an assist from Fitzgerald, moving the lead back up to double digits.
Kane and Kalama would each add another goal for the Sea Gulls, while Fitzgerald added two more assists to build a 15-1 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Kalama’s game leading fourth goal was the final one for Salisbury on the night just over 10 seconds into the fourth to make the score 16-1.
“If we flash back six weeks ago we are not the same team on offense,” Berkman said. “Getting Nate has helped a great deal, but Carson’s emergence in the crease. Kane on the left spot – not ideal, but yet he brings another dimension that he can play on the inside too and the first midfield line gets better every day.”
CNU would add two more goals throughout the fourth quarter.
Senior Connor Anderson got his eighth win on the season, playing 45 minutes and notching four saves while only giving up one goal.
Salisbury will be on the road for their next game against Frostburg State University in a CAC matchup on April 11.